Welcome to our latest PowerPoint tips and tricks blog. This time we’ll be looking at checking your presentation is in perfect shape when it’s actually finished.
Use the below presentation checklist to make sure you’re completely prepared before saving your PowerPoint and delivering it to your audience.
Check Slide Size / Aspect Ratio
We discussed the importance of using the correct PowerPoint aspect ratio in our previous post on PowerPoint design and layout best practices, but it’s worth reiterating.
Most modern displays and TV screens use the 16:9 ‘Widescreen’ aspect ratio (PowerPoint now opens in this by default), but for peace of mind check the kind of screen you’ll be presenting on and that your presentation is designed to suit it.
Check Your Content
This one seems incredibly obvious, but we’ve all seen a cringe-inducing typos and dodgy syntax that have ruined a presentation’s flow.
Leave time so that you can go back to your presentation for proofreading a day or so after you finish it – this way you can look at it with fresh eyes. Another good idea is to ask a colleague to check it over for you – they’re likely to spot mistakes that you couldn’t.
Microsoft Office products are pretty weak when it comes to spotting syntax and grammar errors, so if you create a lot of high-value presentations it may be worth investing in content checker tool like Grammarly, which offers a plugin for Microsoft Word that tests copy for 250 different types of grammatical errors.
Check Styles and Consistency
Make sure that shapes, text boxes and fonts are the right styles and correctly aligned.
Also, take a look at line and character spacing to make sure your text is as legible as possible – these options are accessible from the Home tab in the PowerPoint ribbon.
This is a good time to sing the praises of a properly implemented PowerPoint template and slide master. These tools enable you to maintain consistency and accuracy, and to implement universal design changes across all slides in your presentation.
Testing PowerPoint hyperlinks is especially important if you’ve built in navigation elements that rely on linking. Use the Hyperlink options under the Insert tab on the ribbon to confirm the destination of each link in your presentation.
Also spot check your links in Slideshow mode and make sure that they’re clicking through properly.
Test in Older Versions of PowerPoint
Files created in older versions of an application generally carry forward well into new iterations, but when things are the other way round complications can arise.
Open and test your presentation in older versions of PowerPoint like 2013 and 2010 if it’s to be used in many different environments – for example, if it’s a sales or credentials presentation that’s taken out and used across various differing setups at client visits.
Save as PPS File
Our final tip if everything else is in good order is to save a version of your presentation with the PowerPoint Show (.PPS file) extension. This can be easily accomplished by using File and Save As, then selecting the appropriate option from the drop-down.
Doing so will launch your deck in Slide Show mode as soon as the file is opened. This enables you to capture your audience’s attention immediately, and saves you fumbling to find the Play Slide Show button in an unfamiliar version of PowerPoint.